Maybe a bunch of high-tech string tied together in a lattice fashion isn’t the most exciting thing in the world as teams fight for playoff berths and division crowns. But as the cameras avoided documenting the gruesome scene of the 2-year-old who had been hit by a screamer off of Todd Frazier’s bat and instead focused on the perturbed players, it was clear that the cause of the preventable tragedy still needs attention.
A day removed from the incident, with the stricken fan still in the hospital, it got that attention. Three teams — the Reds, the Mariners, and the Padres — announced intentions to extend their netting. The Rockies released a statement saying they were looking into the details of extended netting. The Reds, the only of those teams to have worked out the particulars, will extend the netting past Commissioner Manfred’s recommendations before Opening Day 2018.
Manfred, as a part of a press conference at Petco Park, discussed what he described as revamped efforts to extend protective netting, saying he was “really encouraged” by his conversations with teams.
Certain fans have given a million reasons they object to netting. They’re all wrong and neglectful (no, Karen, netting will not obstruct your view), but they give them nonetheless. Like a number of the flaws in MLB, many arguments against, though quieter now amid serious injury, seem to stem from warped ideals of masculinity and weird attachments to nostalgia for a time when lack of regulation or innovation made things less safe. Somehow, wanting 2-year-olds uninjured is the “wussification of America.”
Still, chief among the holdouts are the Yankees. Look, unless there is a spooky net-averse ghost haunting the concourses of Yankee Stadium, there’s nothing that makes adding net unfeasible. Across town, the Mets extended Citi Field’s netting during the All-Star break. Public relations disasters like this one have a history of motivating teams to take action, though.
However, players also led a push for the change, and sometimes without anyone needing to be hospitalized. Freddy Galvis essentially publicly shamed the Phillies into extending Citizens Bank Park netting in Aug. 2016. Players may be the only group with the power and the motivation to get this done in all 30 ballparks, and once that’s done, they could (and should) be the ones to get it done in minor league stadiums, too.
Look no further than what the YES Network cameras showed in the minutes after a 105 MPH line drive struck the little girl for why.
- Albert Pujols is not having the time of his life, and no 37-year-old in MLB has felt this way before. The Angels might be paying for it, literally and figuratively.
- In the first game of a series between the Cubs and the Brewers that could very well determine the fate of the NL Central and humanity, the Cubs won in extra innings. After Javier Baez hit a two-out RBI single in the ninth to tie the game, Kris Bryant came up in the 10th to deliver what would be the death blow to the Brewers.
- Heading down the stretch, the postseason picture fluctuates. Here’s where we stand today.
- Every thorn has its rose, and every losing season has its silver lining. For the Giants, the silver lining is Pierce Johnson, a right-handed reliever the team claimed off waivers from the Cubs on Wednesday.
- The Cardinals are a half game behind the Brewers in the NL Central and helped their cause Thursday night, beating the Reds 8-5.
- Mirror, mirror, on the wall, who’s the horniest of them all? It’s baseball. Baseball is the horniest sport. This is fact. This is canon.
- The Indians won their 27th game of their last 28, and they may be very good. They will never lose again. This is also canon now.
- MLB players are very good boys and are working to raise money for Puerto Rico after the island was hit by Hurricane Maria, weeks after damage was done by Hurricane Irma.
- The Mets expect Terry Collins to retire after 2017. RIP Terry. Gone but never forgotten will be your pettiness and apathy.